Matt Mathews is a Sassy Mother Clucker

Written by | Entertainment, Stage

Comedian Matt Mathews of TikTok fame had an exhausting 2023. Not only did he travel non-stop around the nation to sell out audiences for his When That Thang Get Ta Thang’n tour, but the new year has brought international dates, another national tour, a long list of media press, a merchandise line, and even more social media fame. What does he do on his limited days off in between show dates? He flies home to Alabama, his homeland, to complete his daily farm chores, kiss his husband, and visit his four horses, a donkey, two pigs, thirty-five chickens, nine goats, two dogs, and three cats. While most comedians have spent their years waiting for this kind of fame, he never intended to have a career as a comic. His windy road to success includes nursing, Walmart photography, boudoir photography, book writing, and farm animals. Who knew that a single video he posted on TikTok during COVID of him feeding his farm animals and being sassy would change his life forever?

His show is candid and real. Yes, the comedy is there, but he also shares a lot about his life, not always filled with rosy moments but always brutally and beautifully truthful, from his point of view.

I grew up really poor in the projects. I was the only white kid in my neighborhood. I had an alcoholic mom, and life was a struggle, you know? And that’s what my show is about. I’ve always been the class clown, and I’ve always been the person that made everybody laugh. It’s funny because I was always kicked outta class for my mouth and for saying stuff that I shouldn’t say, and now I get paid for it. So, it works.

But I never wanted to do comedy. That was never something that I wanted to do. I never had a desire or a dream to be a standup comedian. It literally just fell into my lap, and it just took off in a way that I never expected it to. I’m just riding the wave. I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m just up there running my mouth. I don’t really consider myself to be a typical standup comic, I don’t really set up the punchline and do all those things. I just tell my stories of what I’ve gone through or what I’m doing, whatever the case may be. I just tell a story and it relates to people. And I think that’s what has been so successful about it.

His Alabama accent comes with a side of sass and a huge helping of gay. He’s never shied away from his sexuality, pushing the envelope, being a bit racy. You’d think his audiences would be made up of gay men, but they are not. His shows started in Alabama, perhaps not the best well-known for acceptance of gays, and have played to huge audiences of straight, gay, old, young, you name it. Even in his youth, he stayed true to who he was, despite being Southern. How did he get past that stigma of being a gay boy?

It had its challenges for sure. I don’t think anybody can say that they grew up gay and they never had any struggles, especially being in the South. Of course, I was picked on in school or people would say stuff to me in school or the jocks would be like, “ohhhh, are you gay?” But that was really the extent of it. Like, nobody ever like shoved me in lockers ’cause I’d punch a bitch in the mouth. It’s never been like that for me, and I think honestly, you know, you talk about how the crowd reacts so well to me, I think it’s because I just say the things that everybody else wants to say. I just don’t care. I’m always gonna rally for the underdog. I’m always going to be that person who defends the people who can’t defend themselves. But at the end of the day, if you like me, that’s great. I love you back. But if you don’t like me, I really don’t care. If you’re not paying my bills or giving me an orgasm, your opinion of me is irrelevant.

Matt cut his teeth early, his parents divorced when he was young, and he was moved around a lot before he went to high school. Being smart mouthed was his defense while he came to terms with who he was.

It took a long time for me to be comfortable in my skin and to be okay with my body and to be okay with who I am. I think a lot of people still struggle with that every day. And that’s a big part of what my show is, is learning number one, that it’s okay to love who you are. It’s okay to be comfortable in your skin. It’s okay to feel confident who you are. Your self-worth is not determined by a number on a scale. And being a boudoir photographer, I’ve done that for over 10 years, has taught me a lot about being comfortable in who you are. And if you can’t love yourself, then how can you expect other people to love you?

Photography was one of his earliest passions and remains so. After dropping out of nursing school (he realized it wasn’t like Grey’s Anatomy), he spent the little money he got from high school graduation on a Canon Rebel Kit from Sam’s Club, and without any formal training or instruction he began his career. At age 17, he got his first job at Walmart Portrait Studio. He performed the job as only you’d expect.

Every single day you had to walk the floor of Walmart and get people’s phone numbers and their emails and all the things, and you would put it into the system. Well, every single morning we would have conference calls and the district manager would be like, ‘okay, you guys need to get X amount of numbers today.” And I’m like, mmm, no thank you, I’m not walking the floor of Walmart and asking people for their phone numbers and emails. Baby, that’s a hustle that I’m not willing to do. So, I would take the Yellow Pages and I would just start typing people’s names. The next day we’re on the conference call and the district manager’s like, “Matt, you’re blowing it out of the water. You guys need to do what Matt’s doing. Whatever he’s doing is working. Like he’s a star, blah, blah, blah.”

Starting as an event photographer, he transitioned into doing boudoir photography, something that has been extremely lucrative and fulfilling. He has a complete studio with a team and has been doing it for over a decade.

Every Valentine’s Day, I would host these mini sessions where people could book me and I would spend 30 minutes with them and I would take a few photos of them for Valentine’s or whatever. Then it just kind of blew up so much. And I started booking so many boudoir sessions I was like, okay, this is way better. I’m not outside in the Alabama heat – cause that’s some bullshit. I’m in my own studio. I can do it how I wanna do it. Then I just started realizing how life-changing it was for people. I was photographing women who came from bad marriages or came from eating disorders or who just never loved their bodies, they never felt comfortable in their skin. And being able to make people realize that they were beautiful, just the way that they were, was just incredible to me. And I photographed a boudoir session for my mom in 2014. She passed away unexpectedly in 2015 and I remember her telling me, “That was the most beautiful that I’d ever felt. I’ve never felt so pretty in my life. Thank you so much for making me feel that way.”

In his youth, though being a comedian was not on his radar, he knew he was going to entertain people somehow and would even set up his teddy bears and perform. He played piano, guitar, and wrote music. He intends to incorporate more of that in future shows, making it a variety-type show. Let’s just hope he puts in a piano-playing rooster. He’s been able to use his many skills to survive the transition from being a viral TikTok content creator to putting on a 90-minute show. Some TikTokers aren’t able to make that pivot, and Matt certainly couldn’t feed his animals or tell farm jokes for a full show. And for his TikTok fans? Don’t worry, those videos aren’t going anywhere.

There’s so much more to me than just farm chores. Somebody said, “But that’s what made you famous, that’s what we love the most, so you still need to give us that.” And I’m like, “I do still give you that because I have to feed my animals.” It’s not just a skit, like the robe is me. I literally wear robes every day – I’m not putting on clothes to go feed all those animals, and that was me way before the internet. My friend literally just filmed it and we posted it one day and it blew up. So I was like, well if it makes people feel so good and they like it so much, I’ll just keep posting it. But it’s not a shtick and it’s not fake. You can ask my husband, he says, could you put some clothes on?

I literally say in my show, when I’m on stage, yes, I’m performing, but I also want my audience to feel like we’re best friends and we’re just having a conversation. Yes, I have a set, but my set relates to people so much. What people love the most is the crowd work I do because they want to be involved in the show, they want to be a part of it. That’s the biggest thing people have said to me is, “I feel like we’re best friends, I really connected to your show.”  There are so many people that have come up to meet and greets after the show, literally crying because they’re like, “My mom was an alcoholic, and I grew up poor and I had the same issues and your show just made me realize that I can heal and move forward.” Like I said, I don’t really think that I’m a typical standup comic. My show is funny, yes, but my show is also inspirational and uplifting. And I want people to come to my show and leave with something that they didn’t have when they came in.

Even with millions upon millions of followers on TikTok, Matt still doesn’t like the word TikTok star. He prefers self-made entertainer, and he has done it all on his own. Before there was TikTok fame, he had a reality TV-type show about his farm life in development. When that fell through, he lost his agent, and entertainment seemed to say goodbye to him before it even started. What he did is what he’s always done, he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and wrote a book. Titled Uncovered: The Naked Truth of Life, Love, and Addiction it’s a comedic self-help memoir about loss, breaking the cycle of addiction, and growing up gay in Alabama. The book was an instant hit, and remains so today, three years later.

I’m always that person that if you tell me that I can’t do it, I am going to do it and I’m gonna take pictures of it just to prove it. I realized nothing in my life has been easy. I realized that everything in my career, I’ve done it myself. I’ve made it happen on my own without execs, without networks, without agents, without any of that. I’ve done it on my own. I really wanted people to realize that it doesn’t matter where you come from and it doesn’t matter what your background is. And it doesn’t matter what your parents were like. You can do anything that you wanna do if you believe in yourself enough. If I can make it out and break the generational curses and I can be something better for myself, then other people can do it too. I realized that statistically I should have been an alcoholic, or I should have been an addict, or I should have been dead. I made a promise to myself at a very young age that I was going to not be another statistic. I wanted to write a book, so I did – and I self-published it. I didn’t have the following that I have now. I didn’t have a comedy tour. I didn’t have any of that. I self-published it and it was amazing.

Looking towards the future, having a TV show is still on his vision board. Not sure when he would have the time, his date book is literally filled up. In an industry where so many performers give us their brand personality, Matt (and his husband) can attest that what you see is what you get. Though travel fills his days, he is a homebody who’d rather be in a robe. He maintains you can only fake something for so long. And his message to his fans?

Don’t worry about what everybody thinks about you. If you spend your life worrying about what other people think of you and what other people’s opinions of you are, you’ll live a miserable life. So, live your life the way that you wanna live it. Be you, and be unapologetic about it.

You can find out about his tour dates, his photography, buy his merch, and more at


Photos courtesy Marleah Leslie & Associates

Last modified: February 1, 2024